FUNDAMENTALS (formerly known as Foundations) Course Topics

The FUNDAMENTALS (Foundations) course is the prerequisite course for ALL O-G training with Fundamental Learning.  It is NOT intended to be a stand-alone course for anyone wishing to teach using the Orton-Gillingham approach.  It is only the FIRST PART of the Classroom Educator or Associate level training and is not meant to be taken in isolation without further study.

Fundamentals provides an overview of the processes underlying literacy development; current research in the fields of reading, writing, spelling, and dyslexia; the scientific study of language and its structure; and introduces the O-G approach.

It is suited to teachers of any age group or level, speech-language pathologists, tutors, parents, or anyone who wants to understand English!  You will be provided with extensive materials to support your learning and to start building your toolkit.

After completion of Fundamentals, you are strongly encouraged to continue on with the Associate Level training.  This is a requirement if you will be working with students in a 1:1 remedial situation, and/or if you wish to pursue Academy certification at the Associate level.  For those working in classrooms, there is also a Classroom Educator course that is targeted to application in the classroom.  I highly encourage anyone working in the Classroom to complete all 3 training sessions as you will gain additional knowledge, be provided with more materials, and learn various strategies in each course. 


  • good working knowledge of the English language
  • Although not required to take the course, a minimum of a B.A. is required to pursue certification with the Orton-Gillingham Academy (OGA)

Requirements to receive Certificate of Course Completion:

  • Full attendance at all sessions
  • Required Readings and assignments
  • Quizzes, Assignments

The Orton-Gillingham Approach – attributes and organizing principles

Dyslexia – characteristics, research, simulations

Comorbid Issues

Research on Reading, Language Development and Orthographic Processing

Phonetics vs Phonology

Phonological Processes, Speech Development

Obstruents, Sonorants

Consonants: Plosives, Affricates, Fricatives, Nasals, Glides, Liquids

Vowels: short-long, lax-tense, checked, rhotic, diphthongs

Syllabic consonants


Phonological Awareness Assessment

Phonemes, Graphemes, Phones, Allophones

International Phonetic Alphabet

Minimal Pairs


Principles of English Orthography

Digraphs, Trigraphs

Final, single non-syllabic <e>


Spelling Error Analysis

Leveled text, readability formulas

Decodable text – recognizing, analyzing, writing


Syllable timed vs Stress Timed Languages

Introduction to Morphology and Etymology

Spelling Patterns and Generalizations

Rapid Naming

Fluency, Prosody, Oral Reading Fluency Norms

High Frequency/Sight/Dolch words

Content/Lexical and Function words


Handwriting Research and Instruction


O-G Lesson overview: Scope and Sequence, Basic Drills, Lesson components

ASSOCIATE Course Topics

The ASSOCIATE level training course continues working with the concepts introduced in Foundations with a more in-depth immersion into the linguistic structure of language, exploring the relationships between phonology, morphology, and etymology, as well as the History of the English Language.  There is additional coursework in assessment,  profile development, progress monitoring, diagnostic and prescriptive teaching, in-depth student error analysis, vocabulary development, basic grammar, as well as practice in designing and delivering O-G lessons.

A practicum is required for certification wtih OGA (Orton-Gillingham Academy).
See below for more information.


  • Fundamentals (Foundations)

Certificate of Course Completion:

  • Full attendance at all sessions
  • Required Readings and assignments
  • Quizzes, Assignments
  • End of Course Test / Survey of Knowledge
  • Phoneme/Grapheme “check”
  • Lesson Plans
  • Lesson Demonstration observation

Review Spelling Patterns and Generalizations

“Red” / “Learned”/ “Wonder” Words

  • High frequency
  • “Sight” words – debunking myths
  • Dolch / Fry lists

Basic Grammar


History of the English Language




  • Types, reasons, sources
  • Formal / informal
  • Standardized testing
  • Bell Curve
  • Psychoeducational assessments
  • Tools
  • Intake session

Error Analysis

Student Profiles

Progress Monitoring

O-G Based Programs vs Approach

Lesson Planning

  • Components
  • Structure
  • Scope & Sequence
  • Strategies
  • Create and critique

Diagnostic & Prescriptive Teaching

Socratic Questioning

Model Lessons


The CLASSROOM EDUCATOR level training course  is specifically designed to equip teachers with tools and resources to deliver beginning literacy instruction in the classroom.  Trainees walk away with a multitude of materials and ideas to use in the classroom, small groups or with individual students.

Utilizing direct instruction, teachers bring a multisensory, structured, sequential, phonics and linguistic approach into the mainstream classroom. The Classroom Educator is qualified to apply the principles of the Orton-Gillingham Approach to modify and provide literacy instruction for the classroom or small groups ONLY within the school setting (Tier 1).  Trainees who wish to provide remedial support need to take the Associate Practitioner course. 

A practicum is required for certification wtih OGA (Orton-Gillingham Academy). 
See below for more information.


  • Fundamentals (Foundations)

Requirements for Certificate of Course Completion:

  • Required Readings and assignments
  • Quizzes, Assignments
  • End of Course Test / Survey of Knowledge
  • Phoneme/Grapheme “check”
  • Lesson Plans

O-G Lesson plans for Classroom teaching

Classroom Application and Adaptation

Sample Resources and Materials

Scope and Sequence

Lesson Components

Demonstration Lessons


CERTIFIED Course Topics

The CERTIFIED level training course  consists of an additional 100 hours of advanced coursework which includes current research, study of the brain, dyslexia and related difficulties, language structure, writing, grammar, morphology, etymology, assessment, error analysis, organization and study skills, technology, lesson planning and using O-G strategies across subject areas.

This is a general guideline as to how the Certified level curriculum will be covered; however, in an advanced level course, there is an expectation that the particular topics and methods will be adapted to suit the needs of the course participants.  Trainees should be prepared for an intensive course of study that will involve active participation, completion of readings and assignments beyond the in-class hours.

A practicum is required for certification wtih OGA (Orton-Gillingham Academy). 
See below for more information.


  • Fundamentals (Foundations)
  • Associate training

Requirements for Certificate of Course Completion:

  • Required Readings and assignments
  • Quizzes, Assignments
  • Current Research Presentation
  • End of Course Test / Survey of Knowledge
  • Lesson Demonstrations
  • Lesson Plans

The Brain & Current Research about Literacy Development and Learning Challenges

Dyslexia and Comorbid Conditions

Structure of the English Language

Syllable-timed vs stress-timed languages

Analytic and Synthetic Languages

Syllabication vs Morphemic analysis/ divisions

Morphology: Elements; Bases: free, bound, compound, twin – alternate forms, doublets; Stems: simple, complex; Affixes : prefixes, assimilated prefixes, suffixes, suffixal constructions, inflectional and derivational affixes; connecting vowel letters; Blends; Clips

Word Sums and Matrices

Etymology – Roots, Etymons

History and Origins of English – Old English -Anglo Saxon, Norse, French, Latin, Greek


Articulation – Dialects, Stress, Affrication

Lexical and Function words – stress, schwa

Semantics – Vocabulary

Advanced O-G Lesson Planning

Assessment – formal and informal; progress monitoring

Error Analysis

Profile Development & Report Writing

Case Management, Advocacy, Study Skills


Grammar / Syntax – form and function

Descriptive vs Prescriptive Grammar; – evolving/changing language

Storytelling and Multisensory Instruction

Grammar symbols – concrete/multisensory

Parts of Speech: 
Noun – common/proper, concrete/abstract, countable/non-countable, collective, singular/plural, noun of direct address; Verbals – infinitive, gerund; participles; Articles; Adjective, adjectival; Noun Adjunct; Determiners; Pronouns;

Verbs – action – transitive/intransitive; linking/state of being/copula – Predicate – adjective/ noun; subject complements; Verb – helping/auxiliary; Weak (Regular) vs Strong Verbs (Irregular); Simple Past tense (preterite) vs Past Participle; Phrasal Verb

Adverb, adverbial
Preposition, prepositional phrase, object of preposition
Conjunctions – coordinating, subordinating, correlative, conjunctive adverb



Clauses – independent, dependent

Sentences: Types: simple, compound, complex, compound-complex; Subject, Predicate; Imperative

Punctuation & Capitalization

Text Structures; Genres; Paragraphs; Essays







A practicum is REQUIRED to apply for certification as an Associate Practitioner or Classroom Educator with the Academy.

After completion of ALL requirements, trainees may apply for a practicum.

Limited space is available and requires a strong commitment to learning, self-evaluation and reflection, as well a strong level of competency with the material in the course. 

If you are interested in a practicum, please indicate when you submit the registration form.
*Please note there is no guarantee of a practicum placement. 

If trainees are not yet ready for a practicum at the completion of the course, they may audit future courses to develop their skills and knowledge and apply again at a later time.

Please refer to Practicum –  Frequently Asked Questions 
for further information.

An ASSOCIATE level practicum consists of 100 hours teaching a student with 10 observations over the course of a MINIMUM of 8 months.

A CLASSROOM EDUCATOR practicum consists of 50 hours teaching a student with 5 observations over the course of a MINIMUM of 8 months.